The group has a proven track record in buying, stabilizing and monetizing distressed assets. The Tates, Rok and Perez have been working as a team for the past 4½ years, said Jimmy Tate. He and Rok have been friends since high school Tate went to Miami Beach High and Rok went to North Miami Beach High and they went to the University of Florida together. Tate met Perez 4½ years ago at lunch to discuss potential business opportunities, and found him to be a very bright man who offered his business expertise, financial wherewithal and intellect. Perez is a prominent Miami condo developer.
In total, they have bought more than $600 million in assets during the past 4½ years, including the note on the Omni Center property, which they bought for $100 million and sold within months to Genting Group for $161 million.
Though perhaps not as well known as Perez, Jimmy and Kenny Tate are third-generation real estate developers. Their father, Stanley Tate, has been a developer in South Florida since the 1950s and was named chairman of the Resolution Trust Corp. by former President Bill Clinton. Over the years, Jimmy and Kenny, 61, have worked in various aspects of distressed property, debt, and mortgage workouts.
Rok, 51, whose company is the largest commercial property owner in downtown Miami, has direct experience in banking. His family was the majority owner of TransAtlantic Bank, and he sat on the board of directors and on bank committees until TransAtlantics sale in 2006.
Banking is something that I have experienced and know well, he said.
If the deal is completed, U.S. Century will be their next undertaking. The banks directors have given approval, and a definitive agreement is expected in March. Pending shareholder and regulatory approval, the deal could close this summer, Dávila said.